Is Davie Selke the Answer to Germany’s Striker Problem?

The 22-year-old striker has hit the ground running after his summer move to Hertha Berlin. Davie Selke, who had to wait for his debut until Match Day 8 following a pre-season injury, has 4 goals in the Bundesliga and another 4 in the Europa League for the capital city club.


Selke was born in Southern Germany from an Ethiopian father and a Czech mother. He started his football by playing for local teams. He then joined VfB Stuttgart’s youth set up before being let go. After a spell with 1. FC Normannia Gmünd, he joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim as a 14-year-old in 2009. He moved to Bremen in the winter of the 2012/13 season and was handed his top-flight debut in late 2013; he was voted the club’s sportsman of the year in 2014.

In the summer of 2014, Selke represented the German U-19s in the European competition. With 6 goals to his name, the young striker finished top scorer and helped his national team to championship glory. He scored a total of 14 goals in 15 games for the U19s.

First Team Football

He further came into the spotlight after a great display for Werder Bremen in the first half of the 2014/15 season, of which his performance against BVB stood out. The player made Mats Hummels and the whole pack of experienced BVB defenders look ordinary. He grabbed a goal and an assist in Bremen’s famous 2-1 win against Klopp’s struggling team in the last match day of the Hinrunde. That performance earned him the player of the week accolade.

On 1st of April 2015, Selke announced that he would be joining 2. Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. The news came a mere 6 months after the striker extended his Bremen contract. He received widespread criticism for prioritizing money instead of his football development as a transfer to a second tier club was seen as a downgrade. But those accusations were to be proved wrong later.

Mixed Stint at Leipzig

On May 8, 2016 Leipzig secured their promotion to the Bundesliga. Selke was part of a historic moment and helped his club by scoring 10 goals in the league. His celebration in which he chased Ralf Rangnick leading the manager to pull his hamstring was a memorable moment.

However, Selke wasn’t able to get regular playing time once Leipzig started their Bundesliga adventure. Out of his 21 appearances in the 2016/17 season, he only started in 4 of them. Poulsen and Werner were the regulars and Selke wasn’t able to break into the side. This prompted his move to Hertha Berlin in June of 2017.

That summer he represented the Germany U21 side in the European competition which took place in Poland. After beating Spain 1-0 in the final, Germany were crowned Champions, another international glory for Selke.

Selke is currently enjoying a good time at Hertha Berlin. He is playing regularly and of course he is finding the back of the net. On Sunday his side were down to 10 men after only 6 minutes in their game against Leipzig. However, the visitors didn’t late numerical disadvantage faze them. Selke grabbed a brace to haunt his old side and he had no problem showing his emotions after the goals.

National Team Candidate?

With these performances the 22-year-old is making a strong case for himself as to why he should be a part of Germany’s World Cup roster. National team manager Jogi Löw will be well aware of the progress of the young striker and might consider him to solve the striker issue his side has been encountering since the retirement of Miroslav Klose. Former Germany striker Klaus Fischer once likened Selke to the all-time World Cup top scorer.

Germany hasn’t had a true number 9 after Klose. The team managed to handle it well, but in the few Euro qualifiers following the 2014 world cup cracks were beginning to show and that same issue can arise and hinder the team in Russia. Mario Gomez is aging despite good performances for Wolfsburg and Sandro Wagner is not really a starter. Timo Werner has been in good form at Leipzig for over a year and has gotten a call-up for the national team during the qualifiers but it doesn’t look like he will be starting every game. The same can be said about Selke. Directly breaking into such a star-studded squad is a big challenge but he can be a good option to have on the bench.

If Selke is not the present, he definitely is the future. He is young and has room for improvement. If he keeps on replicating his current performance then it will be a matter of time before he emulates his U19 and U21 success with the senior team.

Selke is a tall player but still has very good technique. He can run at defenses and performs well when paired with a striking partner. There have been doubts about his character and not being as good with his head as his stature implies, but those are areas Selke has shown and will continue to show improvements on. Having senior strikers like Vedad Ibisevic and Solomon Kalou at Hertha will do a lot of good for his development and he can be the candidate for the German number 9 jersey for the long run.

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Brook lives in Ethiopia, and started following the Bundesliga from a very young age. His favourite players then were Thomas Rosicky - the reason he became a Dortmund fan! - and Marcelinho of Hertha Berlin. He likes to watch, read, write and talk about football with special interest in discussing emerging young talents. Follow @brookge

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